Long Beach mayor loses mother and stepfather to covid-19 while he battles the virus in his city

A rendering of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

First, the virus came for his city. Then, his family.

On March 23, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced the California community’s first coronavirus death — an unnamed woman in her 50s — with a mournful message: “We’ve been dreading this day and were hoping it would never come.”

Garcia, a Democrat, would spend the next 140 days steering Long Beach through its most dire health crisis in a century. In nearby West Covina, Garcia’s mother, Gabriella O’Donnell, was also battling the coronavirus — as a medical assistant in the clinic where she had worked for more than 25 years.

But at some point, the family doesn’t know when, Gabriella and her husband Gregory O’Donnell became infected. On July 13, Garcia announced that his mother and stepfather were hospitalized and on ventilators.

Read more here.


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